Sorry for the poor quality photo… I snapped it quickly with my phone on the way out the door this morning.
My daughter has fallen in love with hats that have ears. Actually, she has always loved hats of any kind… she just gets extra excited about hats with ears. “Hat” was one of her very first words, and any thing that will fit on her head becomes a hat… whether it is a bucket or a napkin. A couple months ago we were bagging up all the old baby clothes for a trip to Goodwill when she found a pile of beanie hats with embroidered faces and ears, the sort that come with pretty much every baby outfit Carters sells. Anna was so excited about them, and tried her best to squeeze hats meant for a three month old onto her head. There was also a baseball hat with a panda face and ears that we kept for a long time just because she loved it, but once she started getting upset that she couldn’t get it on her ever-growing noggin we had to make it disappear.
Since finding the beanie hats, the idea of making a hat with ears has been swirling around in the back of my mind. Then, last month, my husband took her out to eat with some friends of his. One of the ladies had a fleece hat with fox ears; Anna was immediately smitten. Eventually the lady put it on Anna’s head, thus winning her heart forever. Since then my husband has been telling me I needed to make a hat, so I renewed my search for a pattern. The search lead me to Fleece Fun, who has video tutorials for all sorts of fleece hats with ears ranging from puppy dogs to monsters. It is a good site, but has annoying ads. I was torn between making the cute bunny hat and a fox, but the fleece selection at Hancock decided for me. They had all sorts of pink options for bunny ears, but only one unpleasingly bright orange possibility for a fox. So, the bunny won.
It was a really quick project, you could whip up a whole menagerie in no time! I only made a bunny though, mainly because my model was asleep for the night so I didn’t know how the fit would turn out. The patterns all have a baby size, small and large child sizes, and an adult size. The small child size looked like my best bet, but it seemed a little long for a toddler’s head so I trimmed off about a half inch from the bottom and turned it under about 3/4 of an inch instead of the 1/2 inch recommended in the video. Wrong choice!
The next morning I tried to put it on her head… it was way too small, it would just barely squeeze onto the top of her head. Anna of course loved it immediately and was excited, she didn’t care that it was too tiny. After she finished exclaiming “bunny! ears!” she then proceeded to saying “hop hop hop!” while trying to hop. So fracking adorable. Each time it would fall off she would range from simply annoyed to tears in true two-year-old fashion. Guess that will be her doll’s hat! So it was back to the sewing room for another try, this time making the large version of the child’s size.
The second time around I used a 3/8″ seam instead of a 1/2″ and did not trim up the bottom at all, but I did still turn the brim under 3/4″. It fits so much better, but I think I need to take it back to the sewing machine tonight and round out the top seam a little because it is a bit boxy. There were also a couple places along the brim where my zig zag stitches skipped, leaving a little gap… I tried using a microtex needle this time, whereas last time I had used a stretch needle. Another lesson learned. It isn’t really worth trying to pick all those stitches out of fleece to fix it, but I am not sure this is one I will be parading around outside the house too much.
I still have plenty of the pink and white fleece leftover, so she may be getting a polar bear or kitty hat to add to her collection soon! Hopefully the lessons learned making the bunny hat will mean the next hat(s) will turn out better. With cold weather around the corner, I just might have to explore more fleece hat patterns. If you have any favorites, please share!